So, who are these people called the Generation Y or GENY for short? They are the children of the baby boomers. You know, those born between the years 1977-1996, they are also known as the millennial. There are around 80 million members of GENY in this country alone and they seem to be the most ethnically diverse generation in the history of this country. However, this generation is fastest growing generation in the market place globally. This group has experienced similar events in their lives and hence tends to react to situations similarly. For example they were present when Challenger exploded and The Berlin Wall fell. As we all were so were they, during the infamous events of September 11th.
As mentioned before, these young people, obviously I am not one of them, were born to “Baby Boomers” and in their lifetime there were some unusual and great advances in technology having to do with communication, data collection and transparency. Although you cannot say that the whole generation is “tech savvy”, but they all have had a cell phone most their lives, mostly went to school using computers and very quickly became adept at traveling through the Internet. They also tend to live at home longer and enter the workforce later in life.
What does all of this add up to as far as a business owner is concerned? Well if you want to succeed in the future, then you really need to adopt tools and processes that will address the needs of your new buyer. Let’s face it, we have no choice. The old buyers are quickly retiring and even most of them, although a bit more patient, tend to be more tech friendly than a lot of our dealerships. Another aspect of the GENY characteristic that tends to be very important to the dealer is their love of social environments and open communication. Unfortunately, though, they really are not interested in doing business with their “favorite” dealer on Facebook as they see that medium strictly a “social” gathering space and that might be why Facebook has failed as a “selling” or advertising medium so far.
The millennials are not much into email, but they love to post and text. And will surf the web before they visit you, they surf the web using their mobile devices. While on the web they tend to research the “voice” of others about you.
So, to succeed with this group you must provide an easy venue for this consumer to communicate back to you. Text will not always work if you are sending an offer that needs future reference; here post is your best option. Secondly, remember that the device they mostly use to surf the Internet is a cell phone. So, that tells you that your website must be built in responsive web design. That is the kind of site that knows what the resolution of the tool is and how the user has accessed it and fits itself to the presentation device. So, the result looks the same on a high resolution monitor as a low and fit themselves in a phone screen without side to side bars, only up and down. In this market we are far beyond “mobi sites” and a dealership really needs to seek a “responsive website”. If you hope to sell to this great group of individuals you need to appear as though you are one of the flock. We as dealers, accept old technology in a great deal of our tools, but our website? That is our presence on the World Wide Web and that must be as top notch as any.
The second point I made earlier was addressing your “reputation” on the web as the GENyers tend to seek that. No matter how much you tout your companies’ greatness a bad review can affect their opinion. So, you need genuine good reviews and that only happens with truly addressing the “unsatisfied consumer” first. That means every transaction at your dealership needs a request for valuation and a venue for the customer to address their grievance to someone who will really address it. Just sending an email to one guy at dealership is not acceptable, you must first have a way to log issues bring it to attention of more than one “enabled” person, take true action and then offer an easy way for your customers to post a review. This sounds complicated, well it is, but remember at the onset I called this generation a Tsunami of opportunity so you need to get on your fast ship if you want to survive.